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Drawing New Inspiration from Old Labels

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Drawing New Inspiration from Old Labels

Graphic designers and product manufacturers may be able to glean some new ideas by browsing the old product labels at the NewProductWorks Collection.

The collection contains labels for more than 100,000 items, with most products dating back to the 1970s. Packages containing perishable items were scrapped and only the labels were retained, while products such as soft drinks or cleaning supplies were kept fully intact for the collection.

"Visitors to the collection step back in time through a forest of American consumerism, telling the story of culture," Margaret Reynolds, executive vice president of GfK Global, which owns the collection, told the Lansing State Journal.

The NewProductWorks Collection is not open to the general public - only product researchers, academics and corporate entities can attend. Additionally, only 30 percent of the total inventory is displayed at any given moment, giving attendees a reason to visit multiple times.

A groovy, retro look can help brands standout on retail shelves. For example, Pepsi recently made its "throwback" lineup of soft drinks a permanent part of its brand due to the positive fan response.